Sharing the Wealth

Charitable Giving in Prosperous Times

Minnesota Public Radio

2000, 18 pages, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), 45 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101, (651) 290-1262.

Minnesota Public Radio, as a collaboration between its Civic Journalism Initiative and the program Sound Money, brought together more than 100 individuals, ranging from leading thinkers in the philanthropic field to new Microsoft millionaires, last September for a day-long summit to explore what it thought would be interesting fodder for discussion: the untapped giving potential in the United States.

The results of that meeting have been disseminated in a variety of ways, including this report, "Sharing the Wealth: Charitable Giving in Prosperous Times," that summarizes the discussions and explores some of the more interesting ideas presented. Scattered throughout the publication are highlighted "insights" gleaned from the speakers, roundtables, and small group discussions.

The stage for the discussion was set by Paul G. Schervish, author of Millionaires and Millennium: New Estimates of the Forthcoming Wealth Transfer and Prospects for a Golden Age of Philanthropy, who asked: "What is the best way, today, to think about encouraging those material conditions of wealth to turn into the benefit of the commonwealth?" Schervish's remarks, like those of other speakers, are summarized in the printed report and are available at the MPR website.

Among the sessions that followed and are reported on in the publication was one that divided participants into seven stakeholder groups — research/ academic, individual giving, foundations/corporate giving, faith-based organizations, philanthropy advisors, public policy/government, and nonprofit/community organizations — and asked them to identify action steps for their constituencies. Another discussion resulted in a list of high priority challenges and issues facing the field as a whole.

Review by Deena Epstein
The George Gund Foundation